Pros Performance. Plentiful and intuitive controls. Image quality
Cons Battery door design takes some getting used to. Needs separate SD compartment
Summary I'm appalled at the bashing this camera is taking across the net by expert reviewers and consumers alike. If I were a paranoid, I'd suspect that a conspiracy exists to drive down the price of this splendid piece of photographic wizardry.
Yes, there are minor issues inherent with sensor size and zoom lens range. If you're planning to make poster sized prints, by all means get a different camera. But if you are planning most of the time to make average sized prints (8 X 10, for instance) and do the majority of your image viewing on your computer, this one is perfect.
At the moment, there isn't a camera of this class that offers better range of controls, imaging or performance. I've shot with the camera in all of its modes, and I'm very, very pleased with the quality of the images. Performance is top-notch across the board. Controls are broad and very intuitive. You can pluck your new camera out of the box and begin snapping very good pictures and movies without a glance at the instruction manual--although you'll want to to make fullest advantage of the amazing things this tool has to offer.
I'm an advanced amateur photographer, and I'm a perfectionist. If I can be more than satisfied with the S5 IS--and I am!--it's beyond my comprehension that anyone else could be disappointed with their purchase. For me it impressively bridges the gap between my EOS 30D and the tiny compact point-and-shoot in my bag.
If you want flawless, noise-free images, you shouldn't even be considering a camera in this class. You will be satisfied with nothing less than a digital SLR. But if you're looking for point-and-shoot ease with plentiful controls and ample zoom range with image stabilization, look no further. The Powershot S5 IS is THE camera.
Pros Hot shoe, bigger LCD, better menu set up. Buttons are easier to reach.
Cons Battery door is hard to close. Buttons are soft.
Summary The longer I use it the happier I get. Unlike the S3 this is a real update of the S series camera. So many little changes were made that you are relearning things but overall made it a better camera.
First thoughts after buying;
1) The new lens cap is even worse. It seems like it pops off a lot easier then the S3.
2) While the batteries are now easy to get in and out it is now harder to close the battery door.
3) It is now heavy on the battery side. There must be more plastic this time, making it noticeably heavy when you hold it for the first time.
4) The increased body size is enough that you will have to hold the S5 with your right hand differently form the S2 or S3.
5) The button layout is easier to reach but are soft to push. There is not sensitive so you have to push hard to get a result.
6) The menus have changed some, the ISO now comes up as a pop up menu you can go back and forth with so you do not have to cycle through the whole list to get the setting you want. Overall it is streamlined.
The camera has had a overhaul. It is much more fitting the category of a prosumer camera then the versions that came before with the hot shoe and 2.5 LCD a long awaited addition. It still holds true to being a point and shoot by being simple to use and figure out. Two of its best selling points, AA batteries and a flip LCD are still there. More few more options have been added without taking away any of the previous ones.
For S2 and S3 users who own the lens and batteries already and still want more out of their camera this is a great buy. The upgrade from the S3 is noticeable and more then the casual user will most likely make it worth the money.
For a new user to the S series the 500 dollar starting price it is probably not be the best buy for you that amount of money. Once it drops in price then it would be in the right price range. Particularity for those who want the ability to choose their own settings and do not want the hassle of owning a SLR and multiple lenses.
With the Panasonic FZ50 and Sony H9, Canon really should have done more to make the S5 standout from the competition and worth its high price tag. The S5 is now where the S series should be, features, settings and a hot shoe.
Pros Well Constructed, Well Planned Controls Design, True Stereo Recording
Cons Image Aberrations, Vignetting, Barrel & Pincushion Distortion, Etc.
Summary Originally owned the S2 IS (5 MP) which was excellent. Along came the S3 IS (6 MP) which was great, but I noticed that problems began to arise with the S3 IS at the long end of the lens. Although this was an issue, I managed to work through the gripes. Now, here we sit chatting about the S5 IS (8 MP) version of the same camera with a bit more beef (not choice grade either). The bottom line here folks is that you had better not expect a grand leap if you already own the S3 IS. Rather, be prepared to be very dismayed with the results. The S3 IS produces much sharper and color-accurate images than the S5 IS. Additionally, the S5 IS has a problem with lens creep (for those of you who have not used it extensively and found this out as of yet). In reference to the batteries being placed with the SD slot, I feel that it is not even a relevant issue given that it’s so trivial compared to the poor image quality. I did not return the S5 IS, but I did give it to my nephew given that I knew I would take a 25% restocking fee hit which wasn’t acceptable. He’ll have plenty of fun with the camera and enjoy it for what it’s worth (not much of anything IMHO). The bottom line, if you’re going to spend this much money on the S5 IS, then you’re making a mistake. Buy the Nikon D40X or the Sony Alpha (or other comparable DSLR) which would be money well spent on quality. In conclusion, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this unit as a 5 to be fair given the problems with the images. As a side note, I would like to add that I am a professional photographer who likes to carry around spur-of-the-moment cameras that take good pictures, and I argue that the S5 IS is one that should be avoided. Thanks for listening.
Pros Ease of use!
Cons Looked intimidating to 68 year old Mother!
Summary I got one of these camera's for myself and my mother. I had an old digital camera, and it was time to update. We went up to the mountains and pulled over on the side of the road. There was no way to get out, and take a picture of some RAMS and Elk on the side of the road. NO WORRIES!!! Opened my sun roof, and tilted the screen, holding the camera high up I could see what I was pointing at, and took some framable pictures of the wild life!! I can't be more thrilled with the picture quality, ease of use. Mom was scared to touch it at first. Now she is taking tons of photos!! My brother can't afford to get his kids photos professionally done. However, Grandma's photo's look like they were done in a studio!! I love this camera! I have used the S3 as well.. The best change frankly is being able to move that screen!! So this camera is definately a perfect fit for us!Updated
I liked the flip and twist screen, but it needed to be larger.. Reguardless, I do love the camera. I am sure if I had the S3, i'd love it too. .Then again, any Canon Camera I've ever bought, I've been happy with.
Pros image quality, ease of use/ergonomics, rotating screen
Cons screen size, 12X zoom vs. Sony's 15X
Summary I took quite a while evaluating this camera vis-à-vis the Sony DSC-H9 and went so far as to take memory sticks to the store to get sample images printed. I also ended up buying the H9, but after working with it for a few days, decided it was not laid out very well (awkward to maneuver controls, etc.). The Sony had the benefit of the higher zoom and larger screen, but when it came all the way down to it, I returned the Sony (thanks, Best Buy, for a relatively smooth process except for the 15% restock fee!!) and bought the Canon. Truthfully, the 15%was a sizeable hit, but if I was going to have a camera, it was worth the price of research to get the right one.
Now, on to my experiences with the Canon. I already had a slim point-and-shoot with the Sony DSC-T70, which is great for up-close stuff, but especially as it aged, the zoom and flash compensation for zoom has degraded a bit. I bought the Canon for an upcoming trip to visit family in Belgium and Paris. Anyone who has been in Europe knows that some of the most beautiful photographs are at the top of the buildings (architecture, detail, etc.), so getting a camera better suited to zoom was a necessity. However, although I have been taking pictures for over 30 years (and I'm not too bad at it!), I'm not a professional photographer and want to get the best quality from the subject I am photographing without needing to stage and/or set-up special lighting, etc. The Canon seemed to meet the need.
Once we were on our way, I was not disappointed! The image quality, both on the camera's screen and the resulting printed photographs, would challenge a higher-end camera costing 10 times this one. During the course of 10 days, I took over 700 pictures, and not one of them was a disappointment. Of course, having enhancement software to bring out the things lurking in the shadows helped a lot, too, but if the camera had not been able to capture the detail, no amount of light and balance adjustment would have made a difference.
Since getting home, the camera has continued to capture amazing images of family (kids, grandma, etc.) and experiences (my son's friends' amazing TP-ing job on the house!).
Some day, I may break down and get the Rebel EOS, but maybe not because the I5IS is meeting all my needs.